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International English language conference opens in Melbourne.

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Media Release

Philip Ruddock MP

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation


International English language 

conference opens in Melbourne


MPS 21/99

Leading English language and settlement experts from around the world are gathering in Melbourne today for a major conference entitled 'The AMEP: 50 Years of Nation Building.'

The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock, said the conference is the culmination of a year of celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), one of Australia's key migrant settlement schemes.

"Since it began in 1948, the AMEP has helped about one and a half million of Australia's new arrivals to learn English and settle into their adopted country.

"As the only language program of its kind in the world, the AMEP is acknowledged as a world leader and one of Australia's key migrant settlement programs.

"The conference will showcase the important contribution the AMEP is making to our nation-building through assisting the successful settlement of non-English speaking migrants and refugees.

"The conference will also provide new strategic thinking for the AMEP to continue serving the community with excellence into the new millennium.

"Internationally respected experts from the United Nations, the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service and Universities in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam will address the conference. They will be joined by eminent Australian English language and settlement experts.

"In this stimulating environment, we hope to demonstrate internationally in a constructive and progressive way that Australia's pride in the AMEP is well-founded," Mr Ruddock said.

The AMEP provides nine million hours of English language tuition a year, and last year assisted over 39,000 clients from 89 language backgrounds.

The conference will be opened by His Excellency, the Governor-General, the Honourable Sir William Deane AC, KBE.

The Keynote Address will be given by Brunson McKinley, Director-General, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Geneva.

The conference, convened by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, will run until 12 February.

Wednesday, 10 February 1999 

Media Inquiries: Brad Robinson (02) 6277 7860 or 0419 278 715